By Gary Wamsley
I spend a lot of time making sure our animals are fed and watered. I use to think it was ridiculous that some people had such finicky pets that they had to make special diets for them. I was of the opinion that if they got hungry enough that they would eat what you set before them. I am singing a different tune now.
After we lost Missy, our dog Brooster lost weight and developed mange. The veterinarian looked him over and prescribed pills for thyroid and liver problems and some salve for the open wounds. He does not like to take the medicine so the first day I hid it in a frankfurter. The next day he refused to eat the meat so Shar suggested I try Velveeta cheese. That seemed to work but he still was digging at the wounds and they were not healing.
I purchased some of the best super premium kibbles available and tried canned dog food. He still would not eat very much and continued to lose weight. It was time to see vet again for another exam. He replenished my supply of liver pills, added an antihistamine to alleviate the itching and prescribed an anti-itch spray to use until the antihistamines took effect.
By now, Brooster would not take the medicine in the cheese and I had to switch to hamburger meat. Even at that, he still refused the liver pills. The spray and antihistamine seemed to be ineffective and there was no improvement in his skin.
After several weeks of this treatment and a continued low appetite, I quit giving him the medicines. Strangely, his appetite improved and he stopped scratching. His fur is finally starting to grow over the spots we had shaved for treatment and he is eating enough to maintain his weight, though not enough to regain his previous level.
He is still picky about eating. He will eat the canned dog food and occasionally will eat the kibbles. I have started to add a bowl of milk to his diet to see if that would help. Now I understand. It is very difficult to stand by and watch your pet not eat and lose weight. Count me among those who now have to coax their pets into eating. The question is whether I have now spoiled him so much that I will have to continue this regimen for the rest of his life. Perhaps some of you other pet owners can enlighten me.
Downtown Berthoud was quiet on Labor Day. The only establishments open were the Ace Hardware store, Hays Market, most of the places to eat and the liquor stores. I had occasion to drive to Longmont and even there the parking lot at Wal-Mart was not as full as I presumed it would be. I guess most people were taking their long weekend to wind down from summer.
Summer will officially end later this month and that means gearing up for colder weather. It is time to start thinking about winterizing the lawn, the equipment and the irrigation system. For now, I’ll just think about it.
See you around town.